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Film

Carrie Fisher rants about the song Paul Simon wrote about her

@Russellisation

At one point in the 1980s, there was no bigger name in the pop culture sphere than the Star Wars icon Carrie Fisher, well maybe apart from her co-stars Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill. Whilst it was the commercial success of her cosmic adventures that led her to the top of the industry, Fisher also enjoyed working with Woody Allen and John Landis throughout her career, appearing in Hannah and Her Sisters and The Blues Brothers respectively. 

Even still, however, the true extent of Carrie Fisher’s influence on the film industry cannot be truly appreciated until you peer behind the curtain of her acting career and breakdown her work off screen, working as a ghostwriter among other ventures. A lover of literature, Fisher explained her first ghostwriting gig to the Phoenix New Times, noting: “I read mostly fiction and then it went to obligation. I was asked to write a book based on an interview I did for Esquire…I was asked to adapt that book and then I started doing rewrites”. 

In fact, along with her rise to international success with the release of Star Wars in 1977, Fisher would also start dating the musician Paul Simon the very same year. With 15 years between the 21-year-old Fisher and 36-year-old Simon, at the start of their relationship, little could tear the two apart.

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Speaking in her 2008 memoir, Wishful Drinking, the late actor reflected, “Years ago, there were tribes that roamed the earth, and every tribe had a magic person. Well, now, as you know, all the tribes have dispersed, but every so often you meet a magic person, and every so often, you meet someone from your tribe. Which is how I felt when I met Paul Simon”. 

Unfortunately for the pair, however, the relationship soon soured as they both engaged in a tempestuous 12-year back-and-forth. Dating, breaking up, engaging and divorcing all in the space of just over a decade. 

Ending rather bitterly, Fisher looked back on her time with Simon with distaste, appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2009 to talk briefly about her past. 

After Letterman brought up the the song Simon had written about Fisher and their marriage, the actor responded, “Yes, he did, it is kind of trippy you know, 15/20 years down the line to turn on the radio and hear yourself complained about in song”. 

Referring to the song ‘Alergies’ from the 1983 solo album Hearts and Bones, Fisher recalled the lyric “my heart is allergic to the woman I love and it’s changing the shape of my face”, and demonstrated her disdain.

“Is that flattery?” Fisher dryly responds, seemingly genuinely confused by the old lyric that asks curious questions of the late actor. All delivered with her effortless charm.

Passing away in December 2016, the legacy of Carrie Fisher continues in her extraordinary contributions to popular culture in the late 20th century, having a significant hand in the success of the Star Wars franchise among several other crucial movies.